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Abstract

This Note will focus on consumer bankruptcy related to chapter 7 and chapter 13 filings. Section I provides an introduction to DSOs and the goals of enforcing them through bankruptcy. Section I also discusses the impact of DSO status on the automatic stay, discharge, priority status for property distribution of the bankruptcy estate, capability to reach exempt property, and application to attorney fees. Section II argues that, where attorney fees are not owed to a spouse, former spouse, or child, and do not fit within an impact exception, the fees are not DSOs, but instead are merely general non-secured claims. Finally, Section III argues that even when attorney fees are owed to, or have impact on, the spouse, former spouse, or child, courts should generally find attorney fees are not in the nature of support.

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